blackeyedpeas1It aint so easy to build a brand (or extend one) with social media, especially if it is a part-time gig for everyone.

There is a big time commitment involved if you are going to start with the basics:

Creating a blog.

Getting on Twitter.

Being active on LinkedIn.

Using Facebook.

Social media success demands that you are engaged.You can’t just put up a Facebook page and forget about it.  You can’t not respond to people who are reaching out to you. You can’t blog once a month.

But a lot of businesses do and it’s a mistake.

They do it because it sounds easy.

But to do it well is not simple and chews up a significant portion of your very limited time.

And what is cited above is just social media 101.  There are many other ways to strategically approach web 2.0 and the new world of marketing.

Any marketing expert reading this would huff and puff, that’s what you recommend?  Starting a blog? Creating a facebook page? Duh…

But 95% of small businesses are not doing even the basics.

They are too busy and strapped for cash, trying to make it through the next quarter.  And always they want to know what social media will do for their bottom line. 

Well, it all depends…on how committed you are to the specific outcome you have identified. 

And that is the first place to start to make things a  little easier on you.

What is your goal?  What exactly do you want to get out of your social media plan?

Do you think it is going to increase sales immediately?

Alot of experts will write a big fat goose egg on the whiteboard if you ask them the ROI for social media.

They will tell you to expect nothing but indirect sales and relationship building.  That the new marketing is relationship marketing, interacting with others, coming to the cocktail party and talking, not selling.

As a matter of fact “it’s a big party” has been a favorite catchphrase for social media. 

But it’s not a party.  It’s work.  There’s  a reason why it’s called “working the room”.

Networking in the real world is work and social media networking is no different.

And now you can see how it works.  You meet Joe at a party (on Twitter) and talk to him a bit and three months later when he is looking for an event planner, he remembers meeting you and gives you a call. A month later – sale.

So be sure you know what you are getting yourself into and have a clear goal in mind.

Ask for help.

Cause many hands make light work.

And social media is work.